2020 has certainly not been the best year of our lives, but it still has some bright moments now and again. In December, all astrophotographers will get a pretty unique Christmas present: Jupiter and Saturn appearing as double planets. This phenomenon is pretty rare as is, but conjunction like this one hasn’t been since the Middle Ages.
These amazing Milky Way photos will make you feel like you’ve been transported to another planet
Milky Way is such an inspiring subject for everyone who enjoys shooting the night sky. Travel photography blog Capture the Atlas has published their annual selection of the best 25 Milky Way images. And oh boy, are they inspiring! We bring you some of them below, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them just like I did.
11 essential tips to master night photography like a pro
Astrophotography allows you to capture some spectacular images of the night sky, from milky way images, star trail images, and all the way up to deep-sky images. Each requires a slightly different shooting technique to capture them correctly.
But some things don’t change, you do them every time to give yourself the best chance of getting the image you planned for. Below are 11 tips that will help you get started capturing some amazing night pictures.
Astrophotographers: The Moon, Venus and Jupiter will form a smiley face in the sky next month
UPDATE: there will be no smiley in the sky tonight. What we thought of as a smiley, will be a rare conjunction (close pairing) of Venus and Mercury.
As Forbes points out, on May 22, 2020 you will see the bright planet Venus about 10º above the horizon. Look just beneath it and you’ll see the tiny red dot of the planet Mercury. They will be just 0.5º apart
It’s almost like a great cosmic “It’ll be ok”, but next month, on May 16th, to be precise, a crescent moon will sit in the sky beneath Jupiter and Venus to form a smiley face amongst the stars. The scientific term for such an event is an occultation and in this case, it happens when the moon is positioned between Earth and Venus.
The timing of such an event might seem like a sign from above, but they’re not as uncommon as you might think. It was visible in 2008 from Asia and 2012 from Australia to North America. But they are easy to miss, only being visible for a short period after sunset.
NASA needs your help to track light pollution and all you need is your smartphone
Astronomers have been worried about the effect of satellites, as heir increasing number in the orbit is posing a problem for night skies observation. We can’t do anything to remove them – but we can now help monitor the problem. With its new project Satellite Streak Watcher, NASA asks everyone to help to track the population growth of satellites over time. And all you need is a smartphone camera.
The largest and brightest full moon of the year is due this week
The next big celestial event of this year is the super moon appearing on March 9th. It goes by names like Super Worm Moon, Crow Moon, Sap Moon, and Lenten Moon. Since this is the last full moon of the astronomical winter, it is related to the beginning of Spring. Birds return to their summer habitats, earthworms come out and temperatures begin to rise.
How I shot the weekend’s Supermoon in Antarctica
Shayne McGuire captured the Snow Moon in Antarctica this weekend. The name ‘Snow Moon’ has its origin from Native American tribes. Yesterday evening she experienced that everything lined perfectly up. In addition, the moon took on a beautiful red color tone as it hovered above the horizon.
You can now download a free 2020 astrophotography calendar
Telescope manufacturer Celestron has produced a calendar you can download for free. It covers the most important celestial events in 2020. The calendar even comes with a Deep Sky Checklist.
A growing number of photographers are discovering the joys of night photography, thanks to Instagram and the much-improved camera sensors. To stand under a clear starry sky is utterly magical. I so vividly well remember the first time I captured the milky way. To see it in-camera made a massive impression on me. I was hooked.
2020 moon treats: 13 full moons, 2 super moons, 1 blue moon
Photographers with an affection for the moon are in for a huge treat in 2020. According to astronomy experts, the year will offer thirteen full moons. That includes two supermoons and even a blue moon.
October, in particular, will be exciting. The month promises two full moons, with the second one being a blue moon. If you have already started planning for Halloween, you may consider changing plans – the blue moon will appear right on Halloween. In any event, a blue moon will assuredly add an eerie quality to Halloween. For moon enthusiasts, depending on the weather, it will undoubtedly be a trick or treat evening.
Google explains how Pixel phones use AI for astrophotography
Ever since the first video and images leaked, we knew that the new Google Pixel 4 was capable of shooting astrophotography, even handheld. If you have wondered how a humble smartphone camera can capture the night sky, Google is now offering an explanation on its blog.
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